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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Softball recruit dies

Arizona softball recruit Nadia Brianne Matthews, 16, died late Thursday night, the Orange County Register reported. According to the paper, the coroner said her death was a suicide by hanging.

“”We found out Friday morning,”” head coach Mike Candrea told the Daily Wildcat. “”It’s such a blur … It’s been a bad dream for me. We’re deeply sorry and really feel badly for the family.””

Matthews, who went by the name Bri and attended Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif.,  had verbally committed to UA as a 2011 recruit.

“”It was a tremendous loss for the game of softball,”” Candrea said. “”(She was) a bright young lady that had a bright future and a great talent. Obviously we were looking forward to her becoming a Wildcat. It was a very tragic weekend for us in that sense.””

 Softball snags five in California

Tournament softball is the name of the game in the pre-conference season for the Wildcats.

With multiple teams in the same location, the Cathedral City Classic gave No. 2 Arizona (12-1) the opportunity to rack up five quality wins in three days.

And that’s exactly what head coach Mike Candrea wanted early in the season.

“”I would prefer (playing difficult teams) to playing teams that aren’t,”” Candrea said. “”Obviously, I think you learn more about yourself against good competition. I think the big thing for us is offensively to get our young kids seeing good pitching so they know what they’re going to have to do come (Pacific 10 Conference) time.””

Arizona softball remained a perfect 11-0 in tournament play so far this year.

Three of those wins came against ranked teams this weekend. It faced No. 21 Fresno State University, No. 25 Brigham Young University and Baylor University — previously ranked at No. 25 and currently with 22 votes in the Softball Division I rankings.

“”I think after the weekend with Missouri we all knew we could play with the top teams, so it was a really good test for us,”” said center fielder Lauren Schutzler. “”I think that really helped us this weekend because we did really well.””

Although their schedule had to be rearranged due to poor weather, the Wildcats were able to stay focused throughout the weekend and complete all of their scheduled games.

Freshman pitcher Kenzie Fowler once again proved her worth by extending her record to 10-0. She appeared in every game this weekend, starting four.

“”I thought Kenzie did a very good job,”” Candrea said. “”She had to get in some tough games and I thought performed quite well. In (Sunday’s) last game she got the save, and I’m real pleased at where she’s at.””

In the first two games, Fowler held both BYU and Fresno State scoreless. Both games were run-ruled — UA won 11-0 against BYU and 8-0 facing Fresno State — and ended in five innings.

The closest call for the Wildcats came in the first game, a Sunday 3-2 win against Baylor. In a late scare, the Bears were able to put up two runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning to close in on Arizona’s 3-0 lead, which had come off the bats of Schutzler and left fielder Brittany Lastrapes.

Baylor closed in on the lead off a solo jack by Dani Leal in the top of the sixth inning. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases, and a sacrifice fly put the Bears within one. Fowler, however, struck out Bree Hanafin to end the inning.

“”(The pitchers) kept us in the game, and we really didn’t have any big innings against us,”” Lastrapes said. “”It felt nice behind them.””

The top of the order led the Wildcat offense with a combined 23 hits and seven RBIs on the weekend.

“”The top of our order did really well, I thought. Lastrapes, Schutzler and (K’Lee) Arredondo did a good job of setting the table and getting on base,”” Candrea said.


Weekend Scoreboard:

Game 1:

Arizona    8

BYU         0

Game 2:

Arizona          11

Fresno State   0

Game 3:

Arizona    8

Hawaii      3

Game 4:

Arizona    3

Baylor      2

Game 5:

Arizona    7

Cal Poly   3

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